We get this question from many first time printer buyers. The short answer is – YES! Most printers do include cartridges in the box with your printer but it is important to note, the majority of cartridges that are included are starter cartridges.
Starter cartridges are intended to get your printer up and running. They have a smaller amount of ink than a standard yield cartridge, and will probably last for a couple of weeks if you print occasionally, so expect to order a new set of ink relatively soon. Cartridge prices can vary quite a bit depending on what printer you have. As such, the total cost of operation should always be top of mind. Before you buy, think about what you want to get out of the printer. Where do you plan to use the printer? Are you printing mostly documents, photos, or both? How much money do you want to spend on ink? With so many printers available, setting expectations ahead of time will help you find the perfect fit. To help you determine the true cost of using your printer, there are two points worth keeping in mind…
Page yield–the approximate number of pages you can print with a particular cartridge–varies from machine to machine. When you are shopping around, it is important to compare cartridge price and page yield across printers to make sure you won’t be spending more on ink than you need to. Most cartridges are sold in standard and high yield (XL) sizes but some are available in extra high yield (XXL). If you print a couple of pages a month, you will probably be comfortable sticking with a standard cartridge. Customers that print more frequently are more suited for high yield or extra high yield cartridges due to their higher ink capacity. The page yield of inkjet cartridges and laser toner cartridges vary quite a bit as well. At first glance, the cost of laser toner cartridges may appear much more expensive than inkjet cartridges. But when you consider how many pages each laser cartridge can print, the cost per page of toners (~6 cents) is way more economical compared to an ink cartridge (~20 cents).
Cost of Cartridges
Cartridges can be expensive. Before you settle on a printer that is on sale, take a moment to do the math. The cost of ink is calculated by dividing a printer’s page yield by the cost of the ink cartridge. For example, the price of a genuine HP® 63XL black ink cartridge is $39.99* and its page yield is 480 pages. After a bit of division, the cost is 8.3 cents per page. Comparatively, you can buy a genuine black Canon® PGI-250XL cartridge for $27.49, which offers a page yield of 500. The cost per page for the Canon is only 5.4 cents a page, giving you more ink for a cheaper price. This is why cartridge price and page yield are worth paying attention to. The cost per page of a compatible cartridge is even less. LD Products sells a compatible replacement for the HP 63XL black cartridge at $29.99, or 6.2 cents per page. The LD brand compatible PGI-250XL is just $4.99 and offers a cost of .99 cents a page. So, before you buy a new printer, just remember…
- YES, your new printer will likely come with new cartridges…but they probably won’t last very long.
- Replacement cartridges may be expensive. Compare pricing not only across printer models but their respective cartridges as well! Inexpensive printers usually come with higher priced cartridges.
- For an even better deal on ink, consider buy LD Brand compatible cartridges. They are significantly less than the original brand and are backed by an industry best lifetime guarantee!
Looking for a printer that is a good deal AND uses high capacity cartridges? We put together a list of some of the most ink efficient printers on the market today, check it out here.
*Savings based on price comparison between remanufactured/compatible cartridge prices on www.LDProducts.com and OEM cartridge from Staples®. All prices effective as of May 3, 2021. OEM names are registered trademarks of their respective owners and are not affiliated with, and do not endorse LD Products.